The Trump Effect

You’ve probably read or heard about the increase in violence-inciting rhetoric from Trump and his emulators in the media and in public office. There’s not just the despicable Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen and sly and cynical intimations that this may have been the case. Trump and his emulators lie and threaten with abandon on any topic whenever it suits them to do so. For the astute legal analyst for Slate, Diana Lithwick, the incidence of this phenomenon is measurable “in cubic tons of my ‘die, bitch’ emails.”

I think that a lot of people have an underlying propensity to be bellicose, bully, and lash out, but they are normally inhibited from giving way to such impulses. Trump and his emulators in the media and in political office have systematically shattered such inhibitions. Trump is the antithesis of Lincoln. Instead of urging people to find the better angels of their nature, he summons the worst demons from within them.